Diane Burrell, Writer

A portfolio of my professional work

The Honest Company Blog Submission: This is Halloween


As summer passes into autumn, our thoughts can’t help but turn to crisp mornings, changing leaves and holidays known for sweet treats. Granted, you can have sweet treats during any holiday, but you have to admit that not many dessert indulgences spring to mind when thinking about the Fourth of July or Labor Day. But Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the gourmand’s trifecta. Candy, pie and cookies…whose imagination doesn’t jump right to the good stuff when thinking about holiday eating?

But how do you keep the holidays healthy?

How do you keep Halloween healthy?

Halloween is the holiday just made for candy. It’s the night that encourages dressing up and begging from door to door, and declaring that if the occupants hand over all their chocolate bars, nobody gets hurt.

That can mean a lot of candy gets dropped into those Trick or Treat bags. And that’s a lot of processed sugar, chemical additives, artificial colors and flavors, and all kinds of preservatives. All stuff you really don’t want going into your kids’ bodies. (And yours, too. You’ve raided those Trick or Treat bags a few times in the past, haven’t you? Admit it.) How do you convince the kids that begging for candy bars isn’t the only way to have your sweets, and eat them, too?

Well, making them yourself is the perfect solution. It can be fun and engaging when you let the kids help, and it’s a great way to impart important nutritional information at the same time.

However, in today’s world, our kids are taught to not accept any treats that aren’t identifiable and manufacturer-sealed – and rightfully so.  There are dangers in the world that we have to watch out for, so handing out home-made treats at the door is generally not encouraged. In the old days, it was often enough to put a card with your name and address on it in with the cookies or popcorn balls – so your neighbors could identify who handed out what – but that’s not usually enough anymore, especially if you don’t know your neighbors. Trick or treating is even banned in some areas out of these safety concerns.

But there’s no reason you can’t make treats for a neighborhood costume party, your child’s class, or for sharing with friends and family.  Here’s a few suggestions that just might make you famous. (And maybe even infamous.)


White chocolate-dipped Strawberry Ghosts are sweet and juicy. The little ones can help by dipping the berries themselves.

30 fresh strawberries

8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon shortening

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup miniature chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

 Strawberry ghosts 219x219 INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gently wash and dry strawberries.
  2. Melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power in microwave and stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in almond extract.
  4. Dip strawberries in melted chocolate mixture and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet.  Press chocolate chips into coating for eyes.
  5. Freeze for 5 minutes.
  6. Melt remaining chocolate chips in microwave and use toothpick to paint a mouth on each ghost.
  7. Yield: 2 ½ dozen. Refrigerator leftovers.

 Original recipe found at  http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/strawberry-ghosts


Try a Pumpkin Dip served in a hollowed-out pumpkin shell. Serve with gingersnaps or apple slices. INGREDIENTS: 

¾ cup cream cheese

¼ cup brown sugar

¾ cup canned pumpkin

2 tsps maple syrup (optional)

1 tbsp cinnamon

 Pumpkin dip 218x217 INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Fill pumpkin shell and serve with gingersnaps or apple slices.

Hint: For extra fanciness, fill an icing bag with some of the dip and pipe a design on top. If you don’t have an icing bag, use a sandwich bag. Put in filling, seal, then clip a corner to squeeze the filling through.

Original recipe found at  http://www.food.com/recipe/pumpkin-dip-182498  


Kids will get a kick out of these Apple Bites made out of apples and almonds, and it’s another treat they can help make. These are great served with the Pumpkin Dip, too. INGREDIENTS:


Slivered almonds

 Apple bites 218x218 INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and core the apples, cutting into quarters.
  2. Cut a wedge from the skin-side of each quarter.
  3. Insert slivered almonds so they resemble teeth.

Hint: If you’re not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning.

Original recipe found at:  http://spoonful.com/recipes/apple-bites  


Here’s some Mango Jigglers that are the perfect Halloween orange. INGREDIENTS: 

1 ½ cups 100% tropical mango juice blend, divided (you can also use mango juice or orange juice)

1 cup frozen mango

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 to 2 tablespoons sugar

 Mango jigglers 218x216 INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a blender, blend together 1 cup of juice and the frozen fruit until smooth. Pour into small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally to break up any frothy bubbles.
  2. Place remaining juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and let stand for 1 minute.
  3. Add the hot juice mixture and stir or whisk until the gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Pour mixture into an 8 x 8-inch pan or dish. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Cut into twenty-four 2 x 1 1/3 inch rectangles.

Original recipe found at: Juicy Mango Jigglers at Meal Makeover Moms


Instead of a store-bought cake, bring a Watermelon Brain to the party. Vegan zombies will appreciate it, and all you need is a watermelon and a paring knife. INGREDIENTS:

1 small seedless watermelon

Paring knife

 Watermelon brain 218x218 INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Slice off bottom of watermelon so it won’t roll around.
  2. Peel green skin from watermelon.
  3. Score brainy folds in the white rind.
  4. Carve channels along the scored lines to resemble cortical folds, removing rind until you reach the red flesh of the melon.

Hint:  The folds in real brains are mirror images of each other, so if you want to go for added realism, you can find a brain image on the internet and follow the folds to make your brain look extra gruesome.

Original instructions found at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Halloween-Melon-Brain/?ALLSTEPS  

Not only are these treats yummy, they’re also healthy (well, the Pumpkin Dip is a little rich, but the adults will appreciate it) and easy to make.  So you can keep your Halloween sweet, after all.

Now, on to Thanksgiving!



This entry was posted on October 11, 2013 by in Project Submissions, Sample Blog Article - This is Halloween and tagged , .


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